Voter apathy on the Uk has increased and literally parts of the population becoming so disenfranchised that they do not longer follow the politics of the day and not even bother to participate in the debates that will affect its major institutions such as Education and the NHS (The Health Service for those of you who aren’t familiar with the British Health Care System.
This is very worrying yet has been recognised as a major problem, indeed it was thought by many that the coalition between the conservatives and the liberals would bring a fresh feel to politics and result in more people engaging with the system rather than skirts on its periphery. Well, I am not going into all what has caused this and that! There is plenty of stuff out there which will tell you why this has happened.
What I am feeling and personally frustrated is the lack, if lack is the right word here, well I would say none, of policy and new impetus from all parties. They all have agreed to move to a centrists position and thats it. Nothing new! The conservatives and the liberals have messed up the health service by making wholesale changes that were not needed. They only did this since the Primary care Trusts formed by the Labour government under Tony Blair (lets not say much about him – ****ker), the biggest tory after Thatcher, he was reincarnated into the wrong party and later he found it was also the wrong religion he was brought into; well if he did ever have a religion to start off with.
Sorry I deflected, these primary care trust were successful, as with all things and institutions they did needed some tinkering to make them work well all the time. This did not mean spending billions, which we do not have to make a MARK. This is all too frustrating about our world of politics, if a something works and works really well why do we need to change it. In reality is it all about leaving your own MARK, this is what this government wanted to do leave its on branding on the service. Since the primary care trusts had a labour’s badge of honour on it!
I cannot understand this arrogance and I think if our politicians showed lot more humility they will lot of people over. They way things stand I think we will be left with a society which is going to become more and more conflicting as the population turns its face away from its leaders. The writing is on the wall. Give it another ten years and protests like the poll tax would be seen as a microscopic dot compared to everything else that it likely to happen if our politicians do not take a lead to become fully and properly engaged with the public and the rank-and-file.
I think the best way that we can proceed is to take the lot of core institutions, here I would like to suggest education and the NHS out of politics altogether. Bit like how we took Bank of England out of politics, remember those days when the elections would come there would be a cut in the interest rates by the chancellor to help facilitate the wining of an election for his party.
The BBc is another good example where it is to a large extent kept out of politics and is self governing – deciding how it is going to change and the where it is going to spend its money. If it wasn’t for this self management and independence with public scrutiny, it wouldn’t have become the world’s best broadcaster. If it was left in the hands of the politicians and government we would have lost this institution a long time ago and would have television with lot of crap. The BBC has led in view of its quality and depth of work, strange as it may seem other major broadcasters into keeping pace and producing high standards of output for audiences. Furthermore being neutral and outside government control its news reporting is respected world over. This is despite its recent cock ups, respect of Jimmy Saville affair and associated news programmes.
The same needs to be applied to our education and the NHS, where we can save a packet by getting rid of the Health and the Education ministries. Instead we could have structure where both these organisations govern themselves independently and with neutrality where they clear operate to agreed framework and plans. These institutions would in turn be overseen by a governing body – a body with legal powers and teeth with perhaps a Royal status that would shape the strategic development of these bodies. This body would report to parliament which would approve it strategic plans. The funding of these bodies in terms of where they spend their money – well I would say leave it to them they are the experts provided there are robust mechanisms in place to ensure that they always stay on track. Their budgets would be ear marked for ten years by the treasury allowing them to get on with their work without any further political interference.
To an extent this is the model upon which the BBC is run and when it does get things wrong, the government does make its feeling clear through the prescribed channels that are in place and the corporation is able to make the appropriate responses and changes.
People up are fed up with the bickering and the wastage that each government has successively done over the years. When they come into power they spend billions of pounds on reorganising and scrapping things that work really well all in the name of making their own MARK, thinking that they are leaving a legacy. Instead what they are leaving is a population which is pissed, does not care or trust them and can clearly see through their veils. Which have become so transparent that it makes one wonder the only thing missing in the house of commons nowadays is that dancing pole from Spearmint Rhino.
Gosh, how do I start this?
Where Do I begin?
What Do I say in my Middle?
What Do I say in my End?
Well here it comes and I have no idea where this might lead – it may become a work in progress towards a greater work – perhaps like Dr Zhivago – a story of a family finding new horizons not in the form of a Bolshevik Revolution and epic scale. Epic maybe, considering that there maybe drugs, illicit relationships, connivance, deathly regrets, a struggle of one against itself and the lot more. The ideas are rushing into mind like Clockwork Orange and Brazil – all in a psychedelic way. The messerschmitt comes into mind, a bubble moving along in a graceful pace within a totalitarian society [Brazil] – I don’t know why there is this cacophony of floods regurgitating in this fragile hardened mind. Things so complex and beautiful streaming past – words and images asking of order and reorder. Looking for classification – subjugation, a position, liberal authority, grace and wonder but frightened of circumlocutions – beating around the bush – ending in a quagmire of a maelstrom, a living hell. Yes, I have been here before – Deja Vu – a Bohemian Rhapsody.
A child was born, a beautiful baby, so graceful and gentle, picked him up and the place my nose on his tiny belly and made raspberries, he smiled in a cheeky sort of way and went to sleep. I photographed him on Ektachrome 64 producing fantastic images and enlargements to treasure and to never forget that wonderful experience – the birth of CheeNa, from memory he was just above a six pound weight baby – who in this complex world was going to shoulder a huge burden and one who like a great saint was going to be a leader and salvation for the immediate elements that were going to raise him. These were elements rather than the family, the family was elemental with many struggles and challenges that in some respects the love always there was not in any respects traditional and rosy like an American Dream, far from it – It had a balancing act between traditions, what was good, bad, the conformist, testing the tried and tested. These presented a quagmire of new faces and direction which never mapped a route for anyone – the route became like the sifting sands where each moment and turn became a new direction into the unknown.
This in itself became fascinating a new beauty, a genuine feeling that a new future was emerging that would take a new generation to a new promise land the one that would help us all to distance ourselves from the worlds drawn and set in stone by Keynesian and Hayek. A new philosophy and political configurations that took and considered us as unique and the did the best for us all.
CheeNa was beautiful and graceful, almost swan like a child and as he grew he took on a look which resembled a wise Manchurian, at times it almost felt that one was amongst the company of Confucius – always quick to answer with confidence and clearly understanding the rights and wrongs of the world. This was always with power and vigorous tenacity like a piece of lithium darting in a pool of water. It is with this tenacity that at the child age of five that he took the up the responsibility of bringing up his two other siblings. This was not put on or given to him, it just happened, he ensured they were fed, made the right noises when they needed prompt changing and in every aspect spiritual. This he took on from his mother who ensured that he had a good grounding in understanding and identifying with their cultural roots and heritage.
With time his confidence grew and the took on more responsibilities in the looking after of his two younger brothers, sadly this also led to an incident where he scalded the youngest of his two brothers with hot water whilst bathing him. Despite this the scalded child has grown to become a sensitive and a handsome young man.
A loud shriek and uncontrollable laughter in the background, daughter gone into hysterics, turn around to see what was causing this senseless uncontrollable rage of fun – she pointed towards the sofa and there to my horrific amazement saw beached in the sands of the sofa was mother, she was struggling to lift herself out of the sands of the sofa, it seems the tide had abandoned her. To the rescue with daughter the son, they both grappled with mother, heaving and heaving until with a final large concentration of pull energy they freed mother from the clutches of the sofa sands.
Later in the evening, The Road to CheeNA was getting complex with so many turns and returns – a cacophony of floods in the mind searching for new threads and twists, where does CheeNA go what does he become, more images and words come and rush by, try to catch the good ones. But to no avail, suddenly interrupted in my thoughts, began to be consumed by a blubber becoming all wet and covered with slime whilst sinking into the abyss of the blubber. No room to move or breathe try to free myself, more I struggled more I became entangled with many hands keeping me trapped and see images of many females, Indian and European embracing me, making me feel their sweaty orgasmic energies, then suddenly a rising and an explosive flash and I was freed. I looked around and see the beached mother contorting an expression of satisfaction across her body and face.
Try to see CheeNA but as luck has it he wasn’t home, there I met Henry, he was sitting quietly in his corner, he always a maintained a happy face with large puppy eyes in his large red coat. He worked hard, making sure that the house was always clean and dust free. He didn’t say very much and only spoke to those he found special. This he told me in confidence and told me that not everyone could hear him speak but I was one of the few he had chosen to speak with. I felt honoured however the strange thing I found about Henry was his tail, it was so long he told me that this was is his life and soul, without which he would not exist. He told me that his tail took energies that kept him fed and made his insides whizz with powerful scintillation of flashes that allowed him to do his work so well.
I asked Henry about the CheeNA and told him about the book that I had in mind, Henry was very thoughtful and suggested that I should start to look at his school years and the conflict this was going to cause him in light of having to maintain and adhere to traditions which his mother so much wanted. The father on the other hand was a somewhat – a non entity, a care free being that allowed existence to prevail on the accumulation of land plots in the middle of nowhere. A lovely fellow, with entrepreneurial spirit, seeking ventures in the pioneering of the great Canadian outdoors. When I saw his projects I marvelled at them and wished that I too could more. The son, when we last visited found and bonded with him like a long-lost friend.
The early school years for CheeNA were as one can gather from snip bits here and there, an entanglement for him. He started school first since he was the oldest and soon after he was followed by his other siblings. As with most suburban families he would be dropped to school either by bus or by his parents. There at school he looked out for his younger brothers. Upon return to home there was no sense of picking up a book to read or to excel, instead the routine was further compounded with additional tutoring in the Panjabi Language and religious studies.
This was the eighties and with it came a conflagration of new technologies and the arrival of the ubiquitous computer games. The favorite that CheeNA and his brothers used to play was Aliens and Terminator, they were so self-absorbed in these with everything else taking a second seat in their lives. At the end of Terminator game when they won the round they would say ASTA LA VISTA.
The great thing about CheeNA was his Manchurian style wisdom, which at the time he still maintained and his command of the Panjabi language of children of his age was second to none and also second to most adults who were native to Panjab India. He was very oratory and won very many competitions in Panjabi speech writing and speaking. On top of this CheeNA was very athletic a genetic feat he had inherited from his father.
Henry told me about CheeNA acting as the GodFather at school and getting into trouble with school principal and on occasions was sent home. I first dismissed as some unfounded gossip which Henry picked up when CheeNA’s mother was visiting, I later learned that CheeNA had drifted so much that he was repeating one of his grades or had to attend summer school. This wounded me very much, my Manchurian wise man and the Confucius was disappearing, the saint that would take this world forth and save it from the evils laid in stone by Keynesian and Hayek was now becoming a fantasy.
Here is the bit in the middle that I am going to struggle with and any comments or ideas as to how I should progress this story I would like to hear – a work in progress.
The BBC and the Guardian newspaper brought some brilliant New Years news for me and the whole of the Sikh community and for once the honors system has recognised someone from a minority community not for their wealth or their connections with political parties. But the genuine worth of someone who has contributed a great deal at a great personal expense to the needs of the Panjabi and the Sikh community across the United Kingdom and Europe through its Digital Broadcasting Radio Station – Panjab Radio.
Surjit Ghuman has done this with success and determination – I was asked during the mid part of this year (2011) to help look at Panjab radio and areas of further development. As part of this work I was struck with the figures that were presented to me – at the time I saw past independent RAJAR figures of Panjab Radio, which recorded its listenership being over 120,000 people per week. This was considerably favorable and far in excess of other asian media radio broadcasters. During this process I also saw a strongly committed staff and volunteer team as well as a phenomenal amount of participation from its Panjabi listeners and non listeners in the work of the station. I am looking forward to the day when the analogue signal is switched off and the station takes a further leap when digital broadcasting is the norm in every household, at the moment its listenership is confined to a small, well 120,000 plus people across the country per week.
This honor hasn’t come cheap for someone like Surjit Singh Ghuman, he had to face number of challenges and like a renowned Tendulkar, Bishan Singh Bedi and other cricketing greats he has stayed at the crease, whacking the sixes and serving us with vigor and an uncharacteristic social charm that warms and draws people to him.
I hope this bestowed honor serves as a true beacon to others in our community who are working tirelessly against all odds, not to give up hope and continue doing their good work, which at most times seems like a thankless task. Also keeping faith,hope and trust that the honors system does work and does truly recognise the real champions in our communities.
I congratulate Surjit and his staff, his listenership and everyone else who has made Panjab Radio special – Moreover you are important to the Panjabi Community and I say on a personal note – Together with a small group of others, you are our Last Hope that is keeping the Panjabi Culture and Language Live and Kicking.
More information about Panjab Radio can be found at http://www.panjabradio.co.uk/
I am a professional photographer passionate about photography and social welfare issues – wisephotons – manipulating light to inspire – http://www.wisephotons.net
SOOHEE, FOURTH MEHL, SIXTH HOUSE:
ONE UNIVERSAL CREATOR GOD. BY THE GRACE OF THE TRUE GURU:
When someone of low social class chants the Lord’s Name, he obtains the state of highest dignity. Go and ask Bidar, the son of a maid; Krishna himself stayed in his house. || 1 || Listen, O humble Siblings of Destiny, to the Unspoken Speech of the Lord; it removes all anxiety, pain and hunger. || 1 || Pause || Ravi Daas, the leather-worker, praised the Lord, and sang the Kirtan of His Praises each and every instant. Although he was of low social status, he was exalted and elevated, and people of all four castes came and bowed at his feet. || 2 || Naam Dayv loved the Lord; the people called him a fabric dyer. The Lord turned His back on the high-class Kh’shaatriyas and Brahmins, and showed His face to Naam Dayv. || 3 || All of the devotees and servants of the Lord have the tilak, the ceremonial mark, applied to their foreheads at the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage. Servant Nanak shall touch their feet night and day, if the Lord, the King, grants His Grace. || 4 || 1 || 8 ||
The following is response that I had read in the Guardian Newspaper about the film TinTin
The Adventures of Tintin is great art crudely redrawn – If you love the Tintin books, don’t see Steven Spielberg’s ‘execrable’ film adaptation
I thought this article was wonderfully written and as a fan of TinTin who has read most of the comic strips and watched the cartoons when I was young. I was looking forward to this movie, despite not being a fan of 3D. I have been talking to my teenage children about it and got them revved up to go and watch this movie. In some respects I am glad that I haven’t gone and if the article is true as described then I would have been very disappointed – its bit like Batman all over again. They had to make about four or five films before they got it right.
I am concerned and also wonder, how much input Steven Spielberg had in the making of this film? Has he been used or did he just lend his name for the money – I would be disappointed if money was the reason for his participation – a hero I always looked up to!
Someone mentioned that it is only a children’s movie, this is true, however you have to understand that lots of these cartoons, take for example, Phineas and Ferb, Buzz Light Year and many others they all have an underlying adult theme. Producers and Directors know this is important since if mum and dad do not like these movies then it is likely that the kids will not be taken to the cinema to watch them.
Plus I think it is important to note that films and books for children are instrumental in helping to shape and develop them. This is true in my case where books and comics like TinTin inspired adventure, sense of space, international community, right and wrong, justice and most of all growing up with excitement and positive energy. It is for these reasons I think we should take note of the criticisms levelled in this article – dismissing them is not an option!
I am a professional photographer passionate about photography and social welfare issues â wisephotons â manipulating light to inspire – www.wisephotons.net
This is a very disturbing story that I heard today form a a friend of mine and felt it very important to make people aware of the recklessness and the disregard money scammers play havoc on peoples lives. Their entire entrapment process is that of greed and playing upon your own emotions and needs.
This scam relates to an individual who although well connected in the business world and very tuned into scams and such like was taken in on this one and thank god the money involved was not very very much. It nevertheless did hurt and to protect their reputation, he agreed to compensate the loss his friends had suffered. It is because of this that he is well respected, he puts his money where his mouth is.
He was basically duped into thinking he could make some additional cash through the manipulation of foreign exchange currency that is shipped abroad as a white paper. This, to an extent is true where the mint in one country would send currency which is part printed to a foreign country who has ordered their currency. Once the foreign country has received the part printed currency they then print the remain part in their own secure print shops. In this respect, this is where the dupe happened, my friend was told that this currency because it was part printed it they have obtained cheaply and they were able to legitimately able to print the remaining part since they had the plates for them. This obviously sounded plausible enough and the rates of exchange quoted also sounded real. He agreed instead what he was shown was follows, after he had paid some money – this is quoted from the website –
The second scam is the Nigerian Money Washing scam and uses wet money and white paper. The scammer tricks business owners into believing he can duplicate money by using an unknown liquid and washing it between two pieces of white paper. After the “washing” is done the two white pieces of paper turn out to be exact copies of the original U.S. currency. The scammer then solicits several thousand real dollars from the business owner so he can duplicate their money for a percentage and then gives the business owner the counterfeit bills back instead of the real money.
The chemical normally in this washing process is no more than iodine, water and vitamin C.
He was gutted when he realised immediately that he was duped. The person that duped him was black, gives the story that he is from Equatorial New Guinea, that his father is number two the president of the country. This individual is about five foot 9 niches tall, stocky built, square shoulders and his complexion as a black man is on the dark side and is African. My friend commented “are all black african from the West Coast of Africa scammers and why do they give black people such a bad name!”. This individual goes under the name of Akeem and the telephone number he uses is 00447961417035
I reminded my friend that there are other scammers in this world who were the chinese, Indians and worst of all in respect of political level, the western governments who over the centuries and even still today have perpetrated acts which have encouraged this type of behaviour to prevail. Basically western governments do like a degree of instability in some countries in-order to ensure their continued dominance in the region and supply of resources. Coincidentally, Equatorial New Guinea is a good example of how the western governments like to meddle, this I state without prejudice in the following way, where they launched an attempted coup d’etat of the government, using the former Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark Thatcher to head this coup. This failed to the great embarrassment of the British and Western Governments, since this was seen as a back door colonial attack (by white people) on a sovereign black country.
The world is quite complex and the personalities involved are just as colourful and complex. Majority of the people in our world are hard working and great contributors to their communities and to their fellow human beings. However there are individuals and sadly in areas of parts of the world where their concentration in numbers gives rise to racism and prejudicial attitudes that result in members from those communities not to be trusted. I ask that this does not become the case and that people should tread very carefully an
I have been doing quite a few weddings this summer and been very very busy, www.wisephotons.net – At each and every wedding, one thing came across to me, which made me feel quite disappointed in relation to the levels of bhangra music that I was hearing. This I found to be problematic and also of concern, especially when you see a culture (panjabi) that is rich in history and heritage should now start to lack any new talent in respect of its bhangra music: Literally no new bhangra lyrics and songs, just the same old music being regurgitated with the Dj’s trying to make them sound different each time. I cannot really blame the Dj’s, almost all of them were doing some fantastic work despite the limited supply of any new bhangra music.
I spoke to a friend who is into music and poetry, he explained that back in the seventies and the eighties there was a proliferation of panjabi music resulting in new trends being set – the reason for this was that most artists could read and write panjabi and their command of the language was such that they understood the poetry behind the words and the songs. As a result of this and also striving to be modern and developing a sound that would fit into the western music scene, new music and sounds were created. This is still the case today where music from this era is still being played at various clubs, weddings and venues throughout the country.
The problem that we now have, are the new musicians, most of whom struggle with the panjabi language on all fronts, writing, reading and speaking. To illustrate this, listen to some music from the last five years and you will see what I mean – they are just one or two liners with no meaning and depth. Worst thing is that these new panjabi artists, most of whom cannot read and write panjabi – sing their songs written in the english script as a result further corrupting the beautiful language with the incorrect pronunciation of panjabi words and letters.
On top of this and what I can only see as making matters worse for Bhangra is that they are trying to make the panjabi language fit into and sound black/Afro-Caribbean – thus corrupting that beautiful culture, Afro-Caribbean.
Black music is fantastic and the rhythms are just bewildering – An african friend of mine tried to teach me the moves, instead I ended up doing what I can only describe as the equivalent of a belly flop in a swimming pool.
I therefore appeal and say to the new panjabi bhangra musicians – that you are the ones that can make a huge difference to people lives and that you have responsibility to the music and the panjabi culture as a whole. Therefore if you are serious do it properly – learn the language its meaning and its depth – all successful artists across the world if you study them are rich in their culture and language – regrettably I am seeing a decline of this within and on the panjabi music scene.
I am a professional photographer passionate about photography and social welfare issues â wisephotons â manipulating light to inspire – www.wisephotons.net